Comic chameleon Peter Sellers famously claimed to have no personality of his own. Instead, he saw himself as the medium through which his characters, which include some of the most memorable in all of twentieth-century cinema, were brought to life. Having pioneered a distinctly British brand of absurdist humor on the influential radio program “The Goon Show,” Sellers brought his peerless gifts for mimicry and physical transformation to the screen with standout turns in classics like THE LADYKILLERS and I’M ALL RIGHT JACK. It was Stanley Kubrick, however, who fully unleashed the actor’s potential, giving him virtuoso showcases in the provocative Nabokov adaptation LOLITA and the subversive Cold War spoof DR. STRANGELOVE, the latter of which made the most of Sellers’s remarkable talent for inhabiting multiple, meticulously realized characters within the same movie. Sellers set the template for a new kind of comic star—one who was as celebrated for his quick wit and improvisatory genius as he was for his actorly range and technical sophistication.
Directed by Alan Cullimore • 1951 • United Kingdom
Starring Peter Sellers
Opportunistically produced to use up paid-for studio time booked for another short film (PENNY POINTS TO PARADISE), this musical comedy featurette was shot in Brighton over the course of one week. Set in a nightclub, it co...
Directed by Richard Lester • 1959 • United Kingdom
This film, directed by Richard Lester, was shot over two Sundays in 1959 for a cost of about seventy pounds. Nominated for an Oscar for best live-action short, it features Lester, Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers, Graham Stark, and Bruce Lacey.
Directed by Peter Sellers • 1961 • United Kingdom
Starring Peter Sellers, Nadia Gray, Herbert Lom
Albert Topaze (Peter Sellers), a poor but proud French schoolmaster, loses his job after he refuses to alter the failing grades of one of his students. Seizing the opportunity to exploit his honesty...